Buffer, a mobile app and browser extension that helps users to schedule posts on their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and App.net accounts, is rolling out support for native retweets today.
The company says it’s one of the most widely requested features from their feedback forum, and follows “many months” of testing and tweaking.
It’s refreshingly simple to set up. From the Web, users need to download the Buffer browser extension and then hit the Buffer button from underneath the tweet on Twitter.com. Users can then sign in with multiple Twitter accounts and decide whether to use the modern Retweet method (with the circular symbol displayed) or the old-school “RT @username” by rolling their cursor over the message.
Hit Buffer, and the retweet will be automatically added to the users’ queue with a pre-designated time. By default, these are 09:46 am, 12:07 pm, 04:58 pm and 09:10pm, although it’s possible to change these from the dashboard on the Buffer website. Users can delete retweets or manually reschedule them from here too.
Creating the same effect from the native apps is a little trickier. Users need to find the URL for their tweet – which can be difficult depending on the client you’re using – and then send it to the “secret e-mail address” allocated to each user. Buffer then does all of the heavy lifting, adding it to the user’s queue at an appropriate time.
If you’re unsure, your secret Buffer email address can be found here. They’re usually a little long and cumbersome though, so it’s worth noting that the email address can also be added to your device’s address book from within the iOS and Android app.
Many Twitter clients, such as Tweetbot and the official Twitter app, support a “mail Tweet” option which should ease some of the friction surrounding this process. Hopefully we’ll see some deeper integration between Buffer and some of these high-profile Twitter clients down the line.
Buffer integrates with a bunch of useful news readers and Web services, including Feedly, Reeder, Pocket and Instapaper. The company passed the 500,000 user mark back in February, and announced a new app for BlackBerry 10 devices earlier this year. We first covered the app in February 2011, and have since watched it hit numerous milestones, such as being the first app in Apple’s App Store to support the subscription-based social network App.net.
The development team also introduced a number of new key features, including better analytics and a ‘Top Posts’ section, last December along with support for dozens of additional third-party apps such as Newsift, FeedsWire and Caffeinated.
Buffer is a novel idea, especially for so-called “power users” who are worried about putting off their followers with an overwhelming amount of content. Likewise, if you want to publish a post later in the day – say to coincide with a specific time zone, or when you know you’ll be busy and probably forget – Buffer is still easily the best option.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock